The Sealed Evil in a Can

Sealed Evil in a Can

Old folk saying: 'You can catch the devil, but you can't hold him long.'
~ Rod Serling, from The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "The Howling Man".

Sealed Evil In A Can is TV-Tropes popularized scenario which introduces a villains/antagonistic force with legendary and horrendous reputation whom confined within a prison (be it either technological/mystical object) and cataclysmic events would occured should he/she/they released.


Why these villains need to be confined and how worse the threat that they can pose should be released?

Sealed Evil in a Can is scenario involving a highly hazardous/dangerous villains/antagonistic forces whom locked inside a prison, be the said prison is mystical, technological, or both or naturally confined and the concern to keep them at bay. Sometimes the actual threat not always from the confined ones, as in some cases, the Big Bad of the story where the confined villain featured on have nefarious goal in freeing the said confined villain. This of course, make the sealed villainous force to be the Bigger Bad or Big Bad's trump card in conquer/destroy the world.

What motivated the Big Bad to released the sealed villain was range from simply causing chaos or worse, happened to be loyal subordinate/follower of the said sealed villain (whether they just simply wannabe or officially the sealed villain's subordinate is depend on the story itself). What happened after the Big Bad released the confined villain also vary:

  • Leaving the sealed villain to cause chaos, be it under the Big Bad's command or simply left to destroy on a whim.
  • Asked the sealed villain to grant his/her wishes in return of freeing him/her/them and pledge their servtitude to him/her/them.
  • The worst, the sealed villain killed the Big Bad as "reward".

Requirement for Sealed Evil in a Can Scenario

To clarify, a situation can be considered as Sealed Evil in a Can of followed these scenarios:

  • The villain/antagonist whom confined in this style much be extraordinarily powerful and cathastropic (and in lesser extent, have one-man army qualities) instead of simply crossed Moral Event Horizon few times or having criminal records that made him/her confined in regular prison. It means villains that confined in Sealed Evil in a Can style cannot be confined in standard prisons.
  • The confined villain may already sealed inside their Sealed Evil in a Can-styled prison long before events of the story began or sealed in the middle or the end of the storyline. But regardless when the said villain sealed, they must ensure that they do the best to prevent other antagonists free the said villains for their sinister purposes.
  • Some of villains whom sealed in this way may intentionally confined on purpose until the solution to properly defeated them found, where whether the said prison only temporarily confined the said villain until the prisonls quality diminished or otherwise was depend on the story itself. This scenario often, if not always intended to give some time for the Chosen One-type heroes whom destined to defeat the said villain to better prepared should the said villain finally freed from the prison.




  • Ivan Ooze: He was put in an egg-shaped prison by a group similar to the Power Rangers for 6000 years, up until the said prison unearthed by construction workers.
  • The Goosebumps Monsters: Since R.L. Stine wrote them out of the pages, they can be put back in the Manuscripts, but only when they remain locked
  • Imhotep: Was sealed away in his sarcophagus so that nobody can release him for he would arise as an undead mummy monster. In 1999 remake, he internationally sealed due to the curse of Hom Dai he subject to would turned into humanoid abomination with immense powers


  • The Evil Entity: Put in a Crystal Sarcophagus by the good Annunakki until a young group would set it free.
  • The Nightmare King: King Morpheus defeated the Nightmare King by using the Royal Specter and imprisoned him behind a large door in an underground cavern beneath Sumberland, and he warned Nemo not to open the door with the dragon symbol, which was that very door.
  • Discord: Princess Celestia and Princess Luna used the elements of harmony to turn Discord into stone, and he remained that way for 1000 years.
  • The Evil Spirit: trapped inside the book.
  • The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo: ????????.
  • Malchior: imprisoned in the book.
  • The Evil Manta: Trapped in a volcano centuries before the events of the Little Mermaid by the ancient Merpeople.


NOTE: The limit is for 20 pictures only

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